The Norman Transcript

Crime/Courts

March 4, 2013

Pipeline protesters visit Norman

NORMAN — How much would you be willing to sacrifice to fight for what you believe in?

Some sacrifice the comfort of home, the stability of a job and steady income and even face getting arrested for civil disobedience — all to educate others about what they believe is not only detrimental to the land but also the people inhabiting it.

Those involved with the Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance (GPTSR) group are trying to put a stop to pipelines, including the Keystone XL Pipeline.

Some of those involved in the GPTSR group visited Norman’s Red Earth Group Sierra Club recently to discuss the Keystone XL Pipeline, other pipeline projects and their ongoing efforts to halt construction through direct action and civil disobedience.

Part of the Keystone XL Pipeline cuts through portions of Oklahoma and will transport diluted bitumen — a sludgy type of crude oil — from Canada. The project has drawn protest from environmental activists and Native American groups around the state and the nation.

The Keystone XL is a $7 billion project that will run through the heartland of North America. The portion of pipeline in Oklahoma will run from the oil storage hub in Cushing through east Texas, down to refineries in Houston and Port Arthur.

During the GPTSR presentation, Sierra Club members discussed some of the information TransCanada has “put out there” that they said was misleading.

“Two points; one is jobs,” said Mary Francis, Sierra Club member. “The other is about the price of oil.”

Francis said TransCanada wants to get the oil out of Illinois and move it to Houston and Port Arthur refineries so they can get $30 per barrel more for it. Francis said part of moving it to Houston has to deal with TransCanada not having to pay taxes because it is a “duty-free” refinery.

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